Monday, January 30, 2012
Yesterday, Novak "Nole" Djokovic won his third Australian Open. Unlike the semifinal match between Federer and Nadal, which featured a lot of brilliant shot-making, this was a long, hard-fought grind fest. It was like watching two heavyweight boxers trying to wear each other down by trading heavy body blows in the form of heavy, hard hit groundstrokes with vicious topspin. As I watched this long, grueling match, I felt almost as worn down at the players themselves. It was the longest final in history at 5 hours 53 minutes. Djokovic and Nadal could barely stand at the end of this match for the awards ceremony. Their arms and legs were understandably sore from the beating they inflicted on each other over.
What makes this win remarkable wasn't just the fact that he beat Rafael Nadal, the toughest guy on the ATP tour. It's the fact that he beat Nadal at his own game... yet again! Nadal likes to wear his opponents down with punishing groundstrokes and make them run all over the court. In this match, the Djoker made Nadal do all the running and wore him down all the way to sweet victory.
It was a bitter defeat for Rafa -- he came so close to beating his nemesis but failed yet again. But he seemed to take the loss in stride, which is a good sign. I do hope Rafa can bounce back from this loss, but it's pretty apparent that Djokovic is in his head.
Enjoy this sweet victory Nole.... and take some pain killers for that sore body of yours!